November’s Student Dispatch headline, “How Princeton Athletes Face the Challenges of Campus Dining,” really caught my attention. Who is it that said, “The more things change, the more they stay the same”?

The article took me back 65-plus years to the identical problem I faced playing varsity basketball from 1955 through 1958. Freshmen and sophomores dined at “Commons” (Upper Cloister, Lower Cloister, Upper Eagle, Sub Eagle, Madison), while juniors and seniors dined at their respective eating clubs. Irrespective of where you went to eat, dining closed at 7 p.m.

Basketball practice started at 5 p.m. and lasted until Franklin C. “Cappy” Cappon decided to let us go. Often that was close to 7 p.m. Practice was in Dillon Gymnasium, a relatively short hike to the Commons. Such was not the case for the eating clubs, where not only dining closed at 7, but you were expected to show up “looking like a gentleman” in a coat and tie. This was simply impossible after basketball practice, and we came in the quickest-change outfit we could muster.

Still, if we were late, the help at the club protested our tardiness and fellow club members gave us disapproving glances for our attire. As far as selecting the right diet to complement our activity, surely you are joking.

I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate the article, which triggered a series of memories about my undergraduate days and trying to marry varsity sports with dining timetables. As best I can recall, nothing came easy at Princeton in those days.

Dave Fulcomer ’58
Naples, Fla.